Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Baptistic Musings

I've been wrestling with paedobaptist arguments for at least a couple of years, but even more of late since undergoing a personal renewal due to Reformed theology literally saving my Christian life through the doctrine of justification. After a trying time with my health, it was Reformed writers that brought me into the glorious understanding of "receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness through faith." If God used these dudes to bring me into the fuller light of the gospel, I want to get to grips with the theological covenantal framework that helped them do so.

There seems to be good arguments on both sides of the baptism debate. I'll be posting some random arguments from either side and inviting comment from anyone who cares enough to read these posts!

My good friend John Thomson brought my attention to 1 Timothy 6:12 where Paul charges Timothy, "Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses." (ESV)

What is this good confession? The baptist may well ask, when else would Timothy (a third generation believer), make a "good confession" in the presence of many witnesses other than at his baptism as a professing believer?

I have a hunch as to the paedobaptist response. Perhaps at his first communion? Nevertheless, both interpretations involve arguing from silence. I'd be interested to hear responses.


R. Scott Clark said...

Hi Nick,

Confessional Reformed paedos do believe in public profession/confession of faith. Who knows exactly which episode Paul might have had in mind or if, indeed, he had any specific instance in mind in particular but our practice is to catechize children and then have them make profession/confession of faith. In the old days this was done before the entire congregation. So confession/profession isn't mutually exclusive to infant baptism.

Nick Mackison said...

Thanks Scott.